The issue of how TriMet’s board is appointed (by the Governor, confirmed by the State Senate) comes up on this blog from time to time (including in Scotty’s post yesterday).
Often these discussions include advocacy for direct election of board members.
So readers might be interested in this report, passed along by a reader, from the Transportation Research Board “Public Transit Board Governance Guidebook” (PDF, 237K).
It notes that only 3% of the transit boards surveyed are populated by direct election. The most common form is to be appointed by elected officials (60%) as is the TriMet board. The second most common form (17%) is composed of officials elected to other offices.
Worth perusing for background info.